boy on a slide

My connection with St Paul’s Boronia began in the late 1980's when my now husband and I were dating. Steve's family were (and still are) parishioners at St Paul’s, and would invite me to come along. Having not been raised in a Christian home I went at Easter and Christmas out of curiosity.

My husband and I married at St Paul’s in 1993 and after our first child was born in 1996 we discussed having him baptised there. After going through the initial discussions with the vicar, we decided against baptism as we both felt we were unable to stand up in the church and agree to things that we simply knew we did not firmly believe or would adhere to.

We had a naming ceremony for our eldest son on his first birthday and then for our second son on his first birthday.

During these years we would occasionally go to church, generally on the invitation of Stephen's mother and would attend the children's services at Christmas time.

At some point we started attending the playgroups and Kidzworks programs which were run by the church. Our eldest son had started school and was coming home with questions about God after doing RE at school. It was then I realised that I did not know the answers, and for all these years I had rejected something (Christianity) that I knew nothing about.

Our third son was born in May 2003 and in the lead up to his first birthday we began discussing whether we would have a naming ceremony for him. I had started to ask questions about Christianity and was attending church spasmodically, seeking answers to the questions I had.

I did a "What is Christianity?" course with St Paul’s and found that I understood what it was I was searching for - Jesus. I committed my life to follow him. My desire to understand and know him more grew and we made the decision to baptise our 3 sons on May 2nd 2004 (the 1st birthday of our third child). It was a defining moment for our family.

Since then I have completed the Alpha course, joined a bible study group and became more involved with the church.

I had been praying and asking God to show me what my gifts were and where I should be serving him. I had attended a ladies camp organised by our church during that year and was really challenged to answer God's call for my life. I promised him that the next opportunity that came up at church must be the one he wanted for me.

Last year the playgroup coordinator decided it was time to retire from running the playgroups (after 12 fantastic years) and asked if I would be interested in leading one of the groups. I couldn't answer yes fast enough; this is what God had planned for me.

I commenced running the Friday playgroup at the start of this year and have found it truly rewarding. Although I am sometimes overwhelmed with the responsibility of it and am well out of my comfort zone (I am an office person and had previously only put my hand up to do the counting!!) God is directing me every step of the way and challenging me to use the gifts he has given me.

I had wondered over several months why God wasn't answering one of my prayers. I was seeking patience and tolerance with my children, confessing this was a weakness and asking God to strengthen me and provide me with the patience I was lacking. As soon as I commenced running the Friday playgroup I could see Him working in my life. I was fulfilled and he was rewarding my service with answer to my prayer. When I listen to God, obey and serve Him, He helps change me and "fix" my weaknesses - how awesome is that.

Service through playgroups is truly an amazing feeling and we should never underestimate what our church playgroups do for both the families attending and those of us who are privileged to be chosen to run them.

I truly believe that the playgroup and Kidzworks outreach programs run at our church have been a major factor in my decision to become a Christian and pray that they will bring many more to a life with Jesus.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story - I hope it can be of some use and perhaps inspire others to serve or support playgroups within their church.

God bless,

Karen.

Children's & Families & Playgroups Newsletter, Term 3 2007